BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The Brevard Zoo has welcomed a new species to its facility – lions.
The three young male lions arrived from the Naples Zoo on April 27 and were given full access to their new habitat on May 1.
The lions’ temporary habitat will be in our Wild Florida loop while a permanent living space is built in Expedition Africa.
The 2-year-old brothers were born May 14, 2019 to first-time mom Shani and her mate, Masamba, at Naples Zoo. This was the first time lion cubs had been born at Naples Zoo in over 30 years.
Moving the trio to the Brevard Zoo was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which suggests animal pairings and moves with the goal of ensuring healthy, genetically diverse animal populations in AZA-accredited zoos.
To make this space as comfortable as possible, the temporary habitat contains large platforms, plenty of trees for safe climbing and large enrichment devices like boomer balls for the lions to play with.
In the wild, male cubs would stay with their pride until they are around 2-3 years old and then leave to form a new pride or take over an existing one.
Moving the brothers to the Brevard Zoo allows their parents to possibly breed again and gives the trio a home until they are also paired with potential mates.
African lions are classified as vulnerable to extinction. Overall lion numbers continue to decline due to illegal hunting, decreases in the populations of lion prey, and habitat loss.
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